After a few years of not being able to get away, I finally got my wish to go to the mecca of whitewater that is Norway. I spent an amazing month touring the country with Dan Heyworth, Martin Hagan and Callum Strong.
Coming from a country where the paddling is so rain dependent, being able to find a grade 4/5 river under every second bridge was amazing! Usually if I got two days in a row of this level of paddling it would be nothing short of a miracle! Days could be as chilled out or as action packed as we liked. I really felt as if my boating came on lots on this trip, especially bigger volume boating (something not really found in the UK much).
Our trip was based around following the glacial melt and 4 of the paddling festivals; Voss, Valldal, Sjoa and the brand new Dagali festival. We were also lucky to find the Telemark region of the country going off near the end of July after a few big storms.
This trip has been by far my favourite so far, not just for the paddling. The paddling festivals give Norwegian paddling trips such a great social scene and I don’t think I’ve ever made so many friends and contacts in such a short space of time. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep in touch with lots of the great people I got to meet.
Close to the end of my trip I managed to dislocate my shoulder after an awkward landing on the Moneydrop of the Strondelvi river near Voss. As dislocations go, it wasn’t that bad, so I consider myself quite lucky. I’m hoping I don’t have too much time out the boat and I’ll be working hard on my physio to ensure I have a speedy recovery. I’ve already managed a bit of easy flatwater paddling so things are looking good!
After my accident I spent my time socializing, driving shuttles, watching movies and generally just relaxing. I couldn’t dream of a better place to do all of this but still obviously not quite as good as paddling.
All my new IR stuff performed great and I can’t say enough good things about it all. The quality of the gear really shows!
Norway is a country full of potential for paddling and there’s no surprise that so many people from all over the world make the annual pilgrimage. I’m 100% sure I’ll be back in Norway. I need to show that Moneydrop who’s boss. For anyone planning a Norway trip that’s wondering about logistics and costs, I’ve got a write up of mine here. I had quite an interesting trip in terms of getting about on freight ferries, trains and planes. I also added some tips and things I would take on board when I go back. I hope it can be of some use to an enthusiastic paddler looking to get out to Norway next year.
Look out for my video of the trip soon!